Julia Louis-Dreyfus's Stylist Wants Women to 'Shatter the Mold of How They're Expected to Appear'
Here’s what we know about next year’s award season: It’s going to be nothing like anything we’ve seen before.
Sure, it will have tons of glitz and glamour, which is par for the course, but it’s also going to become even more of a place to make a big, powerful fashion statement. Already, we’ve heard that multiple stars are planning to wear black to the Golden Globes red carpet as a message against sexual harassment in the workplace. Plus, it’s will continue to be the go-to spot to showcase new and different looks that prove to women that they don’t have to look or dress or be a certain size for acceptance.
For superstar stylist Cristina Ehrlich, who works with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, Uzo Aduba, Allison Williams, Lena Dunham and more, it’s actually her mission for 2018 to change the idea of what the red carpet should be. “I hope that women continue to shatter the mold of how they’ve been expected to appear for red carpets,” Ehrlich tells PEOPLE. “Whether they want to dress up or down, high or low, my biggest hope is that every woman feels like herself.”
In the past year, Ehrlich has pushed her clients to do just that, which is why we’ve asked her to reflect on her most memorable looks of the year. From creating Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s look before the Veep star announced her battle with breast cancer to landing Priyanka Chopra’s modern take on the classic trench to taking Greta Gerwig’s looks from actress to director level, scroll down to find out which looks topped Ehrlich’s list as her favorites of the year.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera
“Julia is Hollywood royalty, particularly in the category of television,” says the stylist. “We’ve have had many beautiful collaborations together with Carolina Herrera and this year [at the 2017 Emmys in September] was no different. Julia broke records this year at the Emmys [by winning her sixth consecutive Emmy] and she will continue to surprise us with her ingenious wit and brilliant comedy. But this year specifically was significant for her and I feel her Emmys look matched that.”
Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren
“Initially stumped, like a lot of people were, about how to pay homage to the Comme des Garçons brand and its designer Rei Kawakubo [at the 2017 Met Gala in May], we drew on one of the most classic silhouettes that Ralph Lauren offers, which is the trench coat,” says Ehrlich. “In playing with the tailoring and fit, we discovered that we could create this really special moment on the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by extending her train to the point of no return. What started as something so simple ended up becoming what some would consider an art piece and not just a dress. Priyanka’s willingness to commit is what carried this look into being one of the most talked about of the night.”
Lena Dunham in Elizabeth Kennedy
The stylist describes Lena as “fearless, in every sense of the word.” So, for the Met Gala, “we knew that she needed to be in something that represented the voice she carries across the board,” explains Ehrlich. “Lena rarely wears silhouettes with such extreme volume, so it felt like a proper nod to the formality of the Met Gala, while still playing to the edginess and rawness that Lena possesses.”
Uzo Aduba in Sally LaPointe
“Our inspirations were really drawn from glamour and the idea of this being a year of celebration,” Ehrlich says of this silver look the Orange Is the New Black star wore to the 2017 Emmys in September. “With [designer Sally LaPointe], we were able to achieve the elements of a gown that felt appropriate for the Emmys but not serious. Uzo is someone who will continue to create memorable roles in whatever she does, so we really wanted to approach this look with the idea that it should be special, but not feel like something we took too seriously.”
Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli
“Allison is a red carpet goddess already, and so it’s never a wonder why she looks so divine in Giambattista,” says the stylist of this delicately embellished design, which the star of Get Out chose to wear to the Gotham Awards in November. “She has worn his gowns many times, but this particular look was fresh, wintery and just purely beautiful. I often wish people could see the dress in person to experience the details in something like a couture gown, but I loved that the best intricacies of this dress were captured in the photo.”
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Oscar de la Renta
“This look we chose right off the runway, which worked perfectly,” the stylist says of the reflective pailette-covered blue design the actress wore to the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty and the Beast in March. “The color and the shine of the dress worked perfectly on Gugu and both the elements of its length and color were spot on for what we wanted to achieve.”
Alison Brie in Brandon Maxwell
“Much like the acting range that she’s been able to show this year, we are having fun playing to these different characters in her range of looks,” Ehrlich says of her approach to the star’s red carpet choices, referencing her roles in critically-acclaimed projects such as Glow, The Disaster Artist and The Post. Her favorite? This Brandon Maxwell design worn to the Washington, D.C. premiere of The Post in December. “Alison has had an amazing year.”
Greta Gerwig in Rodarte
This look was love at first sight for the stylist. “We knew immediately upon seeing it in the [Rodarte fashion] show that it was going to be Greta’s dress,” Ehrlich says of the look chosen for the festival’s premiere of The Meyerowitz Stories. “For a carpet as enormous as the Cannes Film Festival, this dress really needed nothing more than the perfect woman wearing it, which was arguably first and foremost Greta.”
Betty Gilpin in Gabriela Hearst
“Betty is such a new and fresh face to the red carpet—one I know you will see a lot of for many years to come—so we really wanted to achieve something that felt pared down and with graceful ease,” the stylist explains of this Gabriela Hearst pick for the L.A. premiere of Glow in June. “It’s no surprise that you put what is basically couture pajamas on an ingenue like Betty and it creates a moment worth remembering.”
Yvonne Strahovski in Julian McDonald
“This was Yvonne’s first Emmys, so we knew that what we wanted to achieve needed to be straightforward and easy but with strong elements of glamour,” Ehrlich says of choosing this gown with a plunging neckline for the star of The Handmaid’s Tale for the September awards show. “Between the color of the dress, her incomparable beauty and the simple gold Cartier jewelry, I consider it to be an amazing first Emmys moment for Yvonne.”
Andrea Riseborough in Erdem
“It takes a particular type of women with a particular sense of style who can so effortlessly pull off this silhouette,” the stylist says of this Erdem look worn to the 2017 British Independent Film Awards in December. “We’ve had fun putting looks together, but this one was a perfect meeting of the minds. It was also the first and only thing she tried on.”